Opinion: Ignore or answer?

Andrew Paulsen

Andrew Paulsen

Andrew Paulsen is a senior electronic media production major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

How many incoming phone calls do you estimate you receive each day?

Based on going over my call logs from the past few weeks, I usually get around three. Thankfully, most of the calls I get are from my parents, roommates or friends, but occasionally, I get telemarketers.

And when I say occasionally, I mean that if I were to take the volume of sales and solicitation calls I get in a year and break it down to a daily average, it’s very insignificant.

But, when I take that volume into consideration over the span of time in which it actually took to receive all those incoming calls, it’s unbearable.


Monday alone, I received four separate spam phone calls from the same company — different Ohio area code numbers each time (I wouldn’t be foolish enough to answer the same number more than once). And to put this in perspective, these were not spread evenly throughout the day to give me pleasant salutation at breakfast, lunch, dinner and the ever-popular Taco Bell Fourth Meal.

These were four phone calls within an eight-hour span.

That means that every two hours, I was graced with the glorious, momentous, life-changing message that I won a free cruise AND I was entered in a contest to become the future vice-president of the United States.

Okay, so that’s not actually what the person said.

Come to think of it, what did the person say?

Well, first I have to recall who called me each time.

Was it an overseas gentleman who struggled pronouncing the word Florida?


Was it a poor Midwest girl stuck in a call-center attempting to pay off her college loans?


Was it a computerized robo-voice offering to connect me to a service representative?


You know who greeted me when I answered those phone calls?

No one.

You know what happened when I answered?


Just 15 seconds of silence and then CLICK.

Phone hangs up.

Four automated phone calls with nothing to say.

In some ways I imagine that I’m being a bit ungrateful in my complaint about this circumstance. To experience four unsolicited calls in a day with no one trying to sell me an extended automobile warranty or asking my opinion on political candidates is a rare occurrence and practically a blessing from above.

Perhaps a higher power intervened each time my phone rang and struck the offending callers with lightning or pestilence before they could say hello.

The strangest thing about this all is that I’ve been on the National Do Not Call Registry since mid-January.

Since I’ve been on the list (or off the list, depending on how you look at it)

I’ve had one other chunk of telemarketing calls occur. From late January into early February, I received close to 15 calls regarding the pursuit of a college education.

I’m not sure who gives these companies their intel, but it’s pretty suspect since I graduated from high school four years ago.

Anyway, each time I received one of these calls I politely asked to be taken out of their database.

Well, at least the first four times, I politely asked. After that, I answered all calls with a few choice words or just hung up right away.

I guess the only real way to combat the plague of telemarketing is to not answer your phone.

Ignorance of unknown and private numbers is bliss.

Remind me of the last time ignorance caused a problem to solve itself though?